Experience with Wilkinson tremolos?

Discussion in 'Technical Side of Things' started by dougmon, Feb 8, 2021.

  1. dougmon

    dougmon Synchromatic

    558
    Jan 9, 2013
    California
    Hi, all:

    I'm considering a guitar with a Wilkinson tremolo bridge. I wondered if anyone out there had experience with these, positive or negative?

    Not sure it matters, but the model is WVS50 IIK.

    Thanks for any feedback.
     
  2. Uncle Daddy

    Uncle Daddy Friend of Fred

    Jan 19, 2012
    Maldon UK
    You may be better off asking on the Strat Talk forum- those cats are crazy about modding.

    Does it have a push-in trem arm?
     
  3. mschafft

    mschafft Synchromatic

    717
    Jan 19, 2017
    Switzerland
    Somewhat off topic but I'm quite pleased with the Wilkinson Tele bridge that I installed on my Harley Benton Tele. Very decent affordable hardware.
     
  4. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    No experience but they look well made. The Tele bridges are great value. I’m less enamoured with the roller bridge though.
     
  5. dougmon

    dougmon Synchromatic

    558
    Jan 9, 2013
    California
    It does have the push-in arm, yes.

    Thanks for the pointer to the Strat forum.
     
  6. Londoner

    Londoner Gretschie

    117
    Dec 18, 2020
    UK
    I've had a Wilkinson on my Partsocaster for several years, no problems whatsoever. Stays in tune well.
    A lot cheaper than a genuine Fender bridge.
    I did change some of the saddle grub screws for slightly shorter ones though, don't like 'em sticking up!
    The block has an adjustable grub screw to adjust the arm flopiness.
    It was gold plated, hence the tarnishing after several years of hard gigging!
    It's left handed by the way.
    A good man is Trev!
    (Just one small point, the arm is at a different angle as opposed to a Fender arm. Doesn't affect actual playing, but can't fold in back flat in the case, it sticks up a bit. But no problem, it just easily pulls out).



    IMG_8064.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Feb 9, 2021
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  7. Sid Nitzerglobin

    Sid Nitzerglobin Country Gent

    Jun 8, 2015
    fROMOHIO
    I've never owned one, but the blade style ones like the model you mentioned that I've played w/ &/or worked on seemed pretty good. Intonation adjustment is a bit different since you need to push the saddle into position then lock it down from the top, but not too bad.

    Generally speaking the Wilkinson hardware seems good for the price to me.
     
  8. Cdb1961

    Cdb1961 Gretschie

    101
    May 5, 2018
    Orange Park, Fl
    I replaced my MIM Strat bridge with the wilkerson years ago. I did have much better stability. As I remember then were not that expensive either.
     
  9. AZBrahma

    AZBrahma Electromatic

    35
    Dec 18, 2020
    Arizona
    VS50 are made to a different standard than the VS100, specifically the metallurgy and hardening. The Vs50 knife edges and saddles are more susceptible to deformation. They aren't bad, but they aren't one of those pieces you install and it just works great forever. For that, you'll want to move to the VS100. The VS100 is a pretty indestructible and very well-made piece.
     
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  10. TSims1

    TSims1 Gretschified

    Jun 18, 2013
    Atlanta
    The experiences I’ve had with Wilky trems have been good ones!
     
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  11. TV the Wired Turtle

    TV the Wired Turtle Gretschified

    Jul 25, 2009
    so cal
    Ive installed them on a couple strat builds. Very nice but I'm happy w the american standard strat trem using graphtec saddles and 4 springs.
     
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  12. dougmon

    dougmon Synchromatic

    558
    Jan 9, 2013
    California
    Bumping this thread for more info. After getting some answers here, I've done a little more research on the interwebs, and I've read a lot of mixed reviews.

    Two things that I thought were notable:
    • a lot of players (not all, but a lot) have remarked that they cannot stay in tune on a guitar with a Wilkinson trem
    • people who do pedal steel type licks (two or more strings) have stated that with a Wilkinson, the bent string is fine but the other strings in the chord invariable go flat
    Comments?
     
  13. Ricochet

    Ricochet I Bleed Orange

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    These issues sound generic and not specific to Wilkinson. I suspect users would experience them regardless of brand.
    I forgot I have a VS100 somewhere which I don’t like because it sounds “light” not because the function is hampered.
     
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  14. Londoner

    Londoner Gretschie

    117
    Dec 18, 2020
    UK
    True, that's the nature of the floating system.
    I have these fitted in both my Strats. I keep it locked most of the time, as I do a fair amount of bending, but it's just a quick turn of two screws for when I want to use the trem.
    Keeps in tune when locked and unlocked.
    Another benefit is if you're playing with it locked, you can still finish a number if you break a string, unlike as with a floating trem.

    https://www.tremol-no.com

    IMG_8122.jpeg
     
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  15. dougmon

    dougmon Synchromatic

    558
    Jan 9, 2013
    California
    Thanks, that looks pretty interesting. Hipshot makes something like that called a Tremsetter, but that requires some drilling in the tremolo cavity, which I'm a little reluctant to do.
     
  16. Londoner

    Londoner Gretschie

    117
    Dec 18, 2020
    UK
    I did look into the Tremsetter at the time but it seemed a bit hit or miss.
    The Tremol-No is simplicity itself to set up. Just needs a bit of alignment with the grub screw where it joins the tremolo block to make sure there's smooth movement of the 'piston' rod. Doesn't take long.
     
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  17. SAguitar

    SAguitar Synchromatic

    547
    Jan 17, 2020
    Jack Plate, Oregon
    I have enjoyed Wilkinson trems for many years, and loved all of it. They are much easier to work with than any of Fender's trems, and I don't have any problem keeping mine in tune.
     
  18. dougmon

    dougmon Synchromatic

    558
    Jan 9, 2013
    California
    The Tremol-No does look a little easier to work with. Now if the store ever gets the guitar I want in before I break down and buy a hardtail...
     
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